Book Review: The Executor by Jesse Kellerman
The Executor by Jesse Kellerman
Jesse Kellerman is a highly accomplished writer and his latest book, The Executor, is a compelling and creepy read. The novel centres on the character of Joseph Geist, a failing philosophy student at Harvard, who has just been thrown out of his girlfriend’s apartment. After bouncing around friends’ couches for several weeks, he answers an advert for ‘Conversationalist Sought.’ Alma, the woman behind the advert, turns out to be the perfect employer, an elderly woman who is willing to pay him good money for philosophical conversation. It’s not long before she invites him to move into her home and he finds himself thoroughly enjoying her big comfortable house, so much so that he doesn’t ever want to move out.
Joseph Geist is a highly unlikeable character, a man estranged from his family and increasingly alienated from regular society, as he becomes more and more attached to the house he lives in. It’s a claustrophobic read that is surprisingly page-turning, especially when Alma’s shifty, sponging nephew turns up and Joseph is driven to desperate action to remain in what he now considers ‘his’ house. Examining the theme of free will and with lots philosophical discussion, this is a literary thriller with punch.